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a student's dilemma: save online, patronize LBS???!?!(11 posts)

a student's dilemma: save online, patronize LBS???!?!nyedid
May 21, 2002 4:47 PM
So i'm a college student, not totally starving, but reasonably short on cash. I've got a good job for the summer that should pay well, but I still don't have a ton of money. There are some things I'd like to do to my bike and some upgrades here and there, and I'm trying to decide whether to order online or build a relationship with an LBS here. I go to college in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and have already tried to get in with an LBS there (New Mexico Bike 'N Sport, for any of you in Santa Fe). What do I do? It's a question of paying double the price for stuff (example: Vittoria Rubino tires are 23 on nashbar, 15 on saddlesore, and 30+ at the LBS) for the sake of a relationship with a shop or saving myself much needed cash. advice?
just had the same problem...dustin73
May 21, 2002 5:03 PM
450$ for Turbine cranks and Sig. BB from LBS, or 360$ for that, plus a new freewheel and a crank puller. couple weeks prior, it was 150$ or 90$ for a King Dreadset. cranks i bought of the 'net, Dreadset from LBS.

this is how i see it: if it's something i can replace myself, i'll get it off the 'net. clothes, tires, tubes, (basically, little things or stuff i need to try on) i get from the LBS. and besides, if the shop mechs are cool, you can always take stuff in that you worked on yourself and have them check it out.
re: a student's dilemma: save online, patronize LBS???!?!tronracer
May 21, 2002 5:05 PM
Just buy the stuff that they can be relatively competitive in price with. There's a bike shop near my house that charges way too much for stuff, 21.99 + tax for cinelli wrap?!?!? You know what stuff should cost, so only buy the stuff they don't overcharge you on. Show your face alot and ask questions, shoot the shit about bikes. They're not going to remember if you come in w/ new stuff you didn't get there... Ask for stuff you know they don't have. And then say, oh well...
re: a student's dilemma: save online, patronize LBS???!?!Joshua
May 21, 2002 5:46 PM
I know first hand how tight money can get, working full time, going to school part time and raising two kids can really be tough on the wallet. I had to put my bike on lay away and pay here and there for about 5 mos. Through that process I developed a good relationship with the lbs.I have purchased several things from them that I consider high cost, like speedplay pedals, however when I wanted to upgrade the fork on my bike to Carbon Fiber he could not touch the price I could get on the internet, SoI made the purchase on-line and asked him to install it. He had no problem with it, No hard feelings and he even cut me a little break on the installation. To me the bottom line is its my money and I have to make it stretch as far as possible. I treat the Owner/employees with respect and make as many purchases as I can there. So, based on my experience there can be a happy medium between you and the bike shop even if you spend your money elsewhere.
where on the same boat here!Fender
May 21, 2002 7:48 PM
here's what I did.. my collegiate team (SDSU GO AZTECS!!!!!) is sponsored by KHS and they also distribute parts. So basically, I buy all my stuff from them and install what every I can myself. If I can't install it I head over to my LBS and have them do it. I occasionally buy parts from them, mainly from the bargain box. I also get all my nutritional items from them.
just buy cheap stuff from your LBS or things you need on the spot and have them work on your bike.
Fender-- you want to help me out?nyedid in SoCal
May 21, 2002 10:36 PM
hey fender-- do you ride for SDSU? I live in San Diego and would like someone to go riding with occasionally. i'm a total newbie but i'm very enthusiastic. any interest in being a bit of a cycling mentor? if so, post on here with your email address and i'll write you. i live in la jolla. --namir
Give the LBS a chance to match prices...spyderman
May 21, 2002 10:49 PM
I know Performance is quite aggressive when it comes to matching... Given the opportunity, I will run it past them. Saves on shipping costs and you get your new toy right then and there.

I don't like my LBS. They aren't cool... I would never ride with them. They're uptight and rude. Most of the town doesn't like them. The main reason they stay in business is b/c they carry TREK... I don't really consider them my LBS, they're just the place I bought my bike and get free tune-ups.

That said, I still window shop and ask for help from time to time... Just so they remember my face when I roll in for my semi-annual. Which they're always able to take care of on the spot, while I wait. Any decent LBS always has at least a 24hr wait. Also, who knows if you'll ever have a warranty issue with your frame...

Money is money, but someday you'll need a friend...

"Lets Roll"
So what's the big deal?Spoke Wrench
May 22, 2002 5:24 AM
I work in an LBS and previously owned my own shop. Here's how I see it.

I know that the internet and mail order guys just kill us on some prices. A guy who knows what he needs would be crazy to buy drivetrain upgrade pieces from me. I personally don't mind charging labor to do the installation. Just don't expect me to exchange straight up the parts that don't fit or match.

Clothing is another tough line. Our prices are usually comparable, but mail order generally has much better selection. Hey, I understand. Just don't use me for a fitting room. If I take an hour while you decide on shoes and even install the cleats for you, I'm going to be unhappy if you try to return a brand new pair of shoes, to which cleats have never been installed, a week later.

The customer's job is to get the best deal they can considering price, quality and convenience. It doesn't make sense to me to get my feelings hurt by someone who does that.

The LBS job is to survive and to maximize their profits where they can. Most people don't buy inner tubes until they need one so my margins on inner tubes are high. Don't ask me to match a Nashbar price, that's the price you pay for having a tube where and when you need it.
well stated. nmJS Haiku Shop
May 22, 2002 6:46 AM
Thanks for the honesty. Need more owners like you. NMLowend
May 22, 2002 8:27 AM
re: a student's dilemma: save online, patronize LBS???!?!JimP
May 22, 2002 9:36 AM
My local LBS is also more expensive than the mail order shops but... they do give a discount to bike club members. Show your paid-up membership card and get the discount. Now, they still are higher on some things but overall they aren't that much higher when you compare the total cost and the availability.